Bosch spices up Spaulding with infectious salsa beat

by Sam Lederer | 1/14/02 6:00am

One word can be used to describe Jimmy Bosch's performance in Spaulding Auditorium on this past Saturday night: magic.

Backed by a seven-piece band, the Hoboken, N.J. native delivered an electrifying concert that truly showed the power that music can have over people.

Bosch began to play the trombone at the age of 13. He got his big break while attending Rutgers University when he was hired by Andy Gonzalez to play with Conjunto Libre. Bosch has appeared at many music festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival, in addition to playing famous venues like Lincoln Center.

Early in the show, it was obvious that the performers were not accustomed to an audience such as this. The room was filled mostly with a non-student audience who, it appeared, was not that energetic, to say the least.

This was a daunting task for Bosch, as salsa music is really made to dance to. However, Bosch was not deterred. As the night went on, he tried harder and harder to get people up out of their seats.

Bosch began his show with "La Cacharra," a spicy number that featured a lively trombone by Bosch. The song's hooks mirrored the sound of a gun, as the title ("gun" in Spanish) would suggest. The cowbell and bongos complimented each other nicely and helped to preserve the fast paced rhythm of the song.

Edwin Sanchez shined with a jazzy and elegant piano solo midway through the song.

"Vengo de Amor" featured a cooler trombone by Bosch and a softer and looser tempo. The choppy characteristic of the song was echoed in Bosch's solo. The band, too, was right in step with one another, displaying the more technical aspect of salsa.

"Cha Cha Gabriel" is a song Jimmy wrote for his son, Gabriel, who he brought on stage throughout the night. The playful tone of the song was created by Carl Corwin's flute. But, Rey Bayona really made the song jump with his fiery vocals and dance moves.

By this time, due to Jimmy's constant urging, a few people had trickled into the aisles to dance.

Strangely, the best song of the night was written not by Bosch but by tenor sax player, Jeff Lederer. "Speak No Evil" was a jazzy punch of Latin flavor that featured the band's horn section.

The cascading solos allowed each member to play off of one another creating a powerfully frenzied tempo. Corwin's quick fingerwork on baritone sax was exemplary and complimented Steve Gluzband's muffled trumpet quite well.

An emotional performance of "Descansada" closed out the first segment of the show. The song employed a more big-band feeling than other selections.

Bosch invited Barbary Coast director Don Glasgo to play with the band on this number. When Bosch asked the audience to help on background vocals one could tell that he was starting to win them over and enliven the crowd.

The band opened up the second portion of the performance with a strong sounding tune that again showcased Bayona's vocals. Ricky Salas' solos on timbales seemed a little indecisive though, and broke the tight rhythm of the song.

Bosch then performed a song about his experiences as a father, called "Padres Hoy." He said messages, or finding meaning in music, were very important to him and that the song was about how parents should truly love their children. And Jimmy exemplified this message when he sat on the edge of the stage with Gabriel and played to him.

Jimmy's warm trombone solo was very interesting and lent an aspect of love to the song. It was clear by now that Jimmy had won over the audience as most of the aisles were filled with the smiling faces of dancers.

"Va a Mantener" displayed the talents of Edwin Sanchez on piano. The somber ballad featured an intro by Sanchez which was distinctly evocative of Duke Ellington. The song had a more academic and laid back flavor than some of the other selections.

At this point in the show, the emotion of the crowd came to a head as a conga line broke out and the entire front set of aisles was packed with gyrating bodies.

Bosch brought Glasgo up on the stage again to join him on the final song of the night. The double trombone attack heightened the emotional aspect of the lively song. Fast paced conga and timbales work jived with the horn section during an "On Broadway" tease that brought the crowd to its feat.

The mood at the end of the concert was decidedly different than it was just two hours before. The crowd had seemingly come alive in that time period so that the audience's excitement was palpable and almost overwhelming. Jimmy Bosch's performance was a fantastic example of the effects any type of music can have on people.